Last week, UPS announced it has deployed 245 new delivery trucks powered by Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to cities in Colorado and California.
The vehicles are part of UPS’s continued effort to:
• reduce its emissions from the use of fossil fuels, such as gasoline and diesel,
• lower its carbon footprint, and
• offer an immediate competitive advantage to small- and medium-sized businesses looking to green their supply chains.
In fact, UPS now operates one of the largest private fleets of alternative fuel vehicles in its industry–more than 1,900 in total with these additions. This heterogeneous “green fleet” utilizes multiple alternative fuel technologies, including CNG, hydraulic hybrid, hybrid-electric, electric, liquid natural gas, liquid petroleum gas and propane.
“At UPS, we employ a ‘rolling laboratory approach’ to test the benefits of multiple technologies rather than committing to one,” explains Steve Leffin, Corporate Sustainability Manager at UPS. “This is ultimately what allows UPS to invest smartly and investigate ways to be as efficient as possible, so that our customers benefit from that efficiency–in time, cost and footprint.”
So, why is the company specifically adding CNG trucks now?
“UPS has decades of experience maintaining and operating CNGs,” Lefffin says. “Compressed natural gas burns clean and there is an abundance of it. The technology is cost effective for large fleets with existing fueling stations.”
For example, 140 of the new CNG trucks have been deployed to Denver, near a new fueling station at the UPS building in Commerce City.
The UPS delivery fleet also uses advanced telematics to harness services that optimize energy use, Leffin points out. For instance, every new UPS delivery truck is equipped with on-board sensors which monitor critical mechanical data as the vehicles are driven. This data is downloaded directly into the driver’s handheld computer at the end of each day and can be analyzed to improve efficiencies.
Ultimately, all these pieces fit together into what Leffin describes as UPS’s “holistic approach” to sustainability–the company is committed to reducing its own environmental impact, while helping its customers do the same.
“UPS’s environmental philosophy is about more than just carbon,” Leffin says. “UPS has always embraced greener technologies, which have served our customers by keeping prices down and burning cleaner fuels in communities where alternative fuel vehicles are used. With companies placing greater attention on greening their supply chains, UPS’s investment in alternative fuels and efficiency offers an immediate competitive advantage to small- and medium-sized businesses looking to green their services and products to be part of that supply chain.”
Customers can use the UPS Carbon Calculator to measure the climate impact of their supply chain, he adds.
You can also watch a short video about the UPS green fleet here.